Nyasa have established their unique indie folk sound with their meditative lyrics and theatrical blend of traditional and contemporary musical styles. Charkhe is no exception. Charkhe, as the title implies, is a ballad on the wheel of life that carries on in humans. We arrive in this world, then get caught in day-to-day existentialism, and finally depart to the great beyond completing this circle. Lyricists Nilesh Salunkhe and Aman Moroney ask the listeners about the relevance of this circle.
What have we learned in our limited lifespan before we end the circle? Such questions are raised. Despite its metaphysical songwriting, Charkhe is actually pretty lively to listen to, courtesy of Vaibhav Ramteke’s finger play with the mandolin and guitars, and Bhushan Deshmukh and Vaibhav Duratkar’s percussion skills. Right from the opening seconds, an air of mystery is established that later proceeds to an almost-euphoric chorus. The song addresses dark truths of our life, but rather than just crooning about it, Nyasa seems to readily accept the inevitable with a sense of acceptance.
Of course, the star of the show is vocalist Gaurav Chati (assisted by Nilesh Salunkhe) who merrily narrates the many happenings of a human’s ‘charkha’ with an effortless control over his voice. The song’s verses evoke a local North Indian/Rajasthani sound while proceeding to a pumped-up rock-driven hook that finds Chati repeating the words, ‘Bolo, Bolo, Charkhe’. This is easily the best part of the song. This portion is haunting, yet catchy while the lyrics get realistically simple. From a person’s vices and unfair means to advance in life, to an unpredictable death, every theme in life seems to be covered in Charkhe.
The animated lyric video makes these themes even clearer. Using minimalistic frames with shades of blue and yellow, the nearly-three-minute-long clip details the entirety of a person growing with the passage of time. The visual elements too, are as impactful as the sonic ones. To conclude, one can say Nyasa is one of the most amusing bands in the present-day folk fusion scene.
The genre of fusion is otherwise getting so cliched that the word ‘fusion’ itself is on its way of turning into a cliche. Artists can fuse two different influences but the experiment isn’t bound to yield promising results every time. Nyasa have shown time and again that their simple yet impactful neo-folk style is here to stay in their intended demographic’s minds.
Verdict: Charkhe is about dark truths in life, but it would still light up your mood.